Canadian Neighbors


Another great story - I think.

I had been in Ontario a couple days,
had breakfast in Strathroy and treated myself
to a chocolate kruller (doughnut) afterwards.
Yum, did I like that!

When I made Mount Brydges and saw a doughnut shop,
I decided that I should see if they had another chocolate kruller.
Well, no. Darn!

But, the owner, Elisabeth Chahine was sitting in the shop
mulling over intended Peace March to Ottawa, that wasn't happening.

Well, immediately, she had my ear and we had a conversation.

Elisabeth is the tall, smiling woman in the blue jacket
standing in the midst of some of her satisfied customers.

Elisabeth's march is definitely on hold now
as she and her family have had to return to her native Norway
because of work permit problems.

I am waiting to read via email the latest on her world travels
as I sit quietly in remote rural Montana.

Leaving Mount Brydges,
I continued to meet many foreign born Americans
(aren't Canadians also technically Americans?)

Stopping at a roadside produce stand,
I met Naim who grew up in Lebanon.
He subsequently owned businesses
and prospered in the Persian Gulf.
But, for the safety and welfare of his children,
he purchased a farm and moved to Ontario.

We had a short but sweet visit.
I surely hope Naim is still vending fruit and vegetables
the next time I pass through southern Ontario.



Passing further down the road,
I stopped at Mister Natural Health Food Store
one morning in Aylmer.

I was greeted by the warmth and friendliness
of a real "Mister Natural," Alan Doan.
Alan is semi-retired but fully active
with the store which is owned by Aggie Reimer.

Alan had a handful of remedies and health info
that he wanted me to study up and investigate.

He also directed me to a breakfast spot while tending to business,
eventually took me out to his farm for a visit with his wife,
and finally drove me to the other Mister Natural
in the next town east.

Alan is not only Mister Natural but also "Mr. Aylmer."

Another Chamber-of-Commerce type is Brenda Hyde.
Brenda runs the Hydeaway Bed and Breakfast where I stayed in Dunnville,
raises 3 or 4 children - I can't recall - and works at the local credit union.

She is also involved in local theater and promotes Dunnville business,
which is how this photo happened to get taken.

During my stay at the Hydeaway,
Brenda suggested that I visit Reader's Cafe in downtown Dunnville.
I took the bait and invited her for lunch.

(Reader's is an old hardware store
which Cher and husband Paul have converted
into a bookstore, eatery and occasional musical parlor.)

This photo shows
Cher and Brenda smiling it up.



Well, I was almost back in the U.S. of A.,
and waving my flag again.
(I had decided against my usual M.O.
until my final walking day in Ontario.
I didn't want to offend any Canadians,
waving an American flag on their highways.)

As I was passing through Fort Erie,
just before the Peace Bridge and west of Buffalo,
John Robbins of the Niagara Falls Review (newspaper)
spotted me and asked for an interview.

I told my story.
He told his - about the Fenian Revolt after the American Civil War -
fascinating story.
Then we took photos and he walked me to the Peace Bridge.

Cheerio, John.

Back in the USA in New York

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